Truck shop sting suc­cess

Central Leader - - SITUATIONS VACANT - SU­SAN ED­MUNDS

A Com­merce Com­mis­sion crack­down on truck shops has re­sulted in al­most $1 mil­lion in fines.

Two mo­bile traders are the lat­est to be fined - handed a to­tal of more than $183,000 and or­dered to re­turn nearly $71,000 in fees to cus­tomers.

The sen­tences bring to just un­der $882,000 the to­tal fines im­posed by the courts so far in the Com­merce Com­mis­sion’s pros­e­cu­tions against mo­bile traders.

The Com­mis­sion has been work­ing in the sec­tor since it launched a re­port in 2015, which high­lighted wide­spread prob­lems.

Its staff vis­ited 32 mo­bile traders, or truck shops, around New Zealand and found all but one, Home Di­rect, were not com­ply­ing with their obli­ga­tions un­der the Fair Trad­ing Act and the Credit Con­tracts and Con­sumer Fi­nance Act.

‘‘Thir­teen pros­e­cu­tions are now com­pleted or be­fore the courts, and the grow­ing to­tal in fines shows the se­ri­ous­ness with which the courts and the Com­mis­sion re­gard this sort of of­fend­ing,’’ said Com­mis­sioner Anna Rawl­ings.

In the lat­est pro­ceed­ings, Manukau-based Bud­get Ware­house was fined $100,000 in the Auck­land District Court, af­ter plead­ing guilty to 18 charges re­lat­ing to its cus­tomer con­tracts. The court or­dered $33,419 in fees be re­turned to cus­tomers.

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